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Message from the President Having the right skills and depth of knowledge is vital in today’s marketplace. The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) provides cutting-edge information that will prepare you for today and tomorrow. Our staff is continually monitoring advances in the financial services industry and updating our programs to reflect the most modern methods used in today's workplace. The success of our students proves IBF course materials work. All of our certification programs, from mutual fund to estate planning, are designed for busy people who know what they want but do not have the time to attend classes. Along with a solid grounding in your chosen discipline through our estate planning, mutual funds, retirement income, taxes and annuity programs, here are additional benefits of becoming an IBF student:

 Convenience - Materials and learning aids are sent to your home or office. There is no

commute to classes and no need to rearrange your schedule. Study annuities, estate planning, income taxation, mutual funds or retirement income planning when you choose and still have time for business and family.

 Reliability - You will benefit from training with one of the country's leaders in financial

education. When you enroll with IBF, you can be certain of receiving high-quality education that can help obtain your desired career as a specialist.

 Support - Even though you learn at home, you are never alone. You can be assured of getting all the help you need from IBF instructors, student counselors and the rest of our dedicated staff. When you have a question, help is just a toll-free phone call or e-mail away.

 Low Tuition - You can advance your education with IBF at a reasonable price. Reading

materials, a student manual, IBF Quarterly Updates, an IBF Reference Sheet sample, personalized portal account, sample test questions and final examinations are included in your low tuition price.

There has never been a better time to start working toward fulfilling your goals. When you are ready to enroll, simply follow the steps provided in this catalog. All of us at IBF look forward to helping you get the career training and advancement you need to get ahead in life. Enroll today and take the next step toward a brighter tomorrow. Sincerely, Gordon K. Williamson Chief Academic Officer, IBF

Table of Contents Welcome to IBF




Designation Structure CFS® - Certified Fund Specialist® CAS® - Certified Annuity Specialist® CES™ - Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™ CTS™ - Certified Tax Specialist™ CIS™ - Certified Income Specialist™

4 5 7 9 11 13

Master of Science in Financial Services


Graduate Benefits


Continuing Education


IBF Reference Series






Academic Integrity


Academic Policies


Student Services


General Information


IBF Personnel


Contact Information


“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

Welcome Welocme to the Institute of Business & Finance MISSION STATEMENT

IBF’s mission is to enhance the professionalism of financial advisors through education and certification programs in a manner that fosters integrity, commitment to improvement and excellent service.

Objectives In pursuit of our mission, IBF strives to:         

Provide education that has a foundation in theory enhanced by knowledge that is practical. Deliver education that is current and relevant to financial services professionals. Increase knowledge above and beyond that required for licensure. Offer education that is convenient and accessible for working professionals. Provide high-quality programs, instructional materials and student services. Enable students to meet continuing professional education requirements. Promote ethical behavior and responsibility. Support continuing professional development. Award designations that distinguish an individual’s qualifications and commitment to professional standards.

Since 1988, the Institute of Business & Finance has enhanced the ongoing educational experiences of working professionals. We look forward to continuing to provide quality education and facilitating completion of financial service designations for generations to come.


In 1988, the Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) launched its first certification program, Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®). IBF was founded by a small group of registered representatives and financial planners. These practitioners were disenchanted with materials, politics and direction of other schools offering designations to the financial services community, so they decided to provide a better mutual fund education. Today, more than 14,000 members of the financial services industry, including several dozen Fortune 500 companies, have taken one or more IBF programs. The flagship designation, CFS®, is the fourth oldest designation in the financial services industry and the oldest mutual fund designation in the country. IBF also offers the Certified Annuity Specialist® (CAS®) designation, the only fixed-rate and variable annuity designation. Today, IBF personnel are dedicated to continually making the content of our financial training better, serving the needs of several thousand students and graduates, as well as increasing awareness of IBF designations to brokers, insurance agents, accountants, financial planners, investment advisors, bankers and the general public. In addition to the CFS® and CAS® designations, we also offer Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™ (CES™), Certified Income Specialist™ (CIS™) and the Certified Tax Specialist™ (CTS™) designations. CES® professionals leave our program with a solid understanding of planning techniques and asset repositioning. Finance professionals who obtain the Certified Income Specialist™ designation learn about fixed and variable-rate investment vehicles, retirement portfolios and other subject matter important to the practitioner. CTS™ graduates obtain easy-to-use methods of lowering a client’s tax liability. When you earn one or more IBF designations, you will gain both theoretical and practical knowledge that can be conveyed to your clients, boosting your credibility and professionalism. As a student, you have the flexibility to study whenever you like. The expert faculty and staff at IBF are ready to help you earn your certification today.


IBF Professional Designations You can take your practice to the next level of education and sales. Whether you specialize in annuities, estate planning, income taxes, mutual funds or retirement income, IBF can help you earn designations that will enhance your credibility and professionalism. We have been the leader in educating the financial services industry since 1988. All of our certification programs were developed by seasoned practitioners with strong academic backgrounds. Each of our five designations emphasizes the practical but also includes the theoretical. Materials are updated quarterly to reflect new trends affecting the industry today.


CFS® - The oldest mutual fund designation in the country; over 10,000 have gone through this program that covers closed-end funds, ETFs, open-end funds, REITs, structured products (guarantees) and UITs. CAS® - Both the public and the financial press misunderstand annuities; yet they are more popular than any investment vehicle except mutual funds. This is the oldest annuity designation in the nation.


CES™ - Transition planning is simple if you

understand the basics. Knowledge of intermediate-to-advanced topics translates into using more products and greater diversification of services. CTS™ - Understanding personal income taxes does not have to be complex or intimidating. Clients and prospects both view anyone with tax knowledge as impressive. Increase returns and better portfolio construction without taking on extra risk. CIS™ - Eventually, every client becomes income oriented. Well over 75% of investors who have a broker will change advisors as they become serious about making the transition from work to retirement—retain your client base.


The seven additional course requirements necessary for obtaining the MSFS degree.





Mutual Funds





Estate Planning

Income Taxes

Retirement Income

Advanced Skills Financial Planning Investments Portfolio Management Real Estate Retirement Plans Insurance The Financial Plan

Graduate Degree



MSFS - The only graduate degree designed by financial advisors for advisors, brokers and planners. Five certification programs (CFS®, CAS®, CES™, CTS™ and CIS™ ) represent the core courses of the program. The student must also complete seven additional courses. This may be the only practical investment-oriented master’s degree.



The Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) has been offering certification programs for over 20 years, making IBF one of the oldest providers of financial certification marks in the nation. Over 15,000 students have enrolled in one or more IBF programs. Most enrollments have been generated by word of mouth. IBF was founded by practitioners, for practitioners; our programs stress practical applications, the most current industry standards, plus methods for building your business. Since the financial services industry is one of the ultimate beneficiaries of our educational offerings, we consult regularly with industry leaders and practitioners in a continuing assessment of workplace needs. The outcome is improved productivity and greater knowledge for both the individual and the organization. Our responsiveness to the constantly changing requirements of the industry helps us maintain our reputation as the leader in financial services higher education. Employers and employees both commend us for the relevance of our course content and the enhanced workplace productivity it engenders. You can take your practice to the next level of education, sales and compliance. Whether you specialize in annuities, estate planning, income taxes, mutual funds or current income, IBF can help you earn designations that will increase your credibility and professionalism. We have been the leader in educating the financial services industry since 1988. All IBF certification programs were developed by seasoned practitioners with strong academic backgrounds. Each of our five designations emphasizes the practical but also includes the theoretical.


It is the object of this organization to recognize properly qualified financial advisors with a professional designation.

And Whereas,

The petitioner has fulfilled all the requirements of education, examination, experience, licensing, character and commitment to continued professional education needed to qualify for such recognition.


The Trustees of The Institute of Business andFinance by virtue of the authority vested in them and on the recommendation of the faculty have conferred the professional designation of

Certified Fund Specialist John Hamilton

In Witness Whereof,

I have set my hand and caused the seal of the Institute of Business andFinance to be affixed this day.


Designation Structure IBF has structured its courses, exams and case studies to highlight what the practitioner faces daily. Whether you have been in the industry for a short period of time or are a seasoned professional, you will reap immediate rewards in return for your commitment of time and study. Because the teaching materials are designed to be used in your daily practice, each program is regularly updated. The five designation programs described below are also required courses for the MSFS graduate degree program.

Course Structure


Case Study

• Each certification program consists of six modules • Each program can be completed in 15 weeks or less • Materials include numerous sample exam questions

• Each of the three exams is based on two modules • Each exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions • Exams can be taken at student’s convenience

• Based on a hypothetical client with specific objectives • Solution should address all concerns and objectives • Student’s response should be 2-5 pages

Earning a Designation

• Successfully complete all three exams and a written case study • Meet experience or education requirements • Sign the IBF Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

To earn an IBF designation, candidates must have at least 2,000 hours of work experience in the financial services industry or a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Candidates may take IBF courses and examinations prior to completing a bachelor's degree or 2,000 hours of work experience, but a designation will not be granted until the required minimum number of hours has been fulfilled or a bachelor's degree has been granted. Once the candidate has passed all three examinations and has successfully completed the written case study, he or she will then be required to provide a job title, dates of employment, name of employer(s), a description of work-related responsibilities and duties, hours per week devoted to financial services and educational background including attendance dates and degree(s) granted. IBF may verify employment records, qualifications and disciplinary history through FINRA's Central Registration Depository (CRD) or by contacting a college or university registrar's office.


IBF programs are not alternatives to state or federal licensing requirements. IBF is not a public institution. IBF has not filed, nor has had filed against it, a petition in bankruptcy. IBF is a distance-education institution and therefore, no visa services are provided. IBF does not provide English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction. IBF does not offer placement services.




Certified Fund Specialist


CERTIFIED FUND SPECIALIST® (CFS®) DESIGNATION PROGRAM – MS 500 The Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) program is an intermediate-to-advanced course on mutual funds, ETFs, REITs, closed-end funds and similar investment vehicles. The program addresses the foundation of a modern practice with knowledge that can be used to provide intelligent solutions as you build long-term client relationships. Whether advising a new investor or providing sophisticated wealth management, a CFS® is empowered by practical education to prepare and present optimal solutions that address each client’s concerns and goals. The curriculum includes advanced topics in fund analysis and selection, asset allocation and portfolio construction. It details sophisticated investment strategies that account for risk, taxes, estate planning and more. The materials, designed by seasoned practitioners with strong academic backgrounds, cover the practical as well as the theoretical. This education will improve your skills and provide a catalyst for a growing practice. The program leads to the Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) designation, the oldest and most respected mutual fund designation. Prospective clients evaluate advisors for their experience, education, credibility and professionalism; the CFS® designation distinguishes your qualifications, setting you apart from your peers.

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students of this course will gain mutual fund and related knowledge plus an understanding of the uses of different investment vehicles in their financial advising practice.


Historical returns and risk

Fund costs and share classes

Fund management and selection

ETFs, REITs, CEFs, UITs and structured notes

Risk measurements and minimization

Tax issues

Modern portfolio theory

Strategic asset allocation


Subject highlights below are a partial list of topics covered.

CORE • • • • • • • •

Mutual fund features and benefits Structure and regulation of investment companies Expenses, share classes and load vs. no-load Performance metrics for risk and returns Asset classes and fund categories Indexing vs. active management Mutual funds vs. CEFs, EANs, ETFs, ETNs and UITs Basics of portfolio construction



• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Assessing risk tolerance When to sell Risk factors, related statistics and shortcomings Fund analysis and selection Investment policy statements Avoiding gold and oil Monte Carlo simulation Correlation coefficients and first-auto correlations Modern portfolio theory (MPT) Post-MPT and its ramifications Portfolio rebalancing strategies Behavioral finance Retirement income and withdrawal strategies Foreign markets and currency hedging

Balancing client goals and concerns Fund management Managing client return expectations Investment policy statements High-yield bond considerations Sector fund options and suitability Implementation and rebalancing issues REITs and real estate funds Structured notes Emerging markets vs. frontier funds Long-short (130/30) and hedge funds Target retirement funds Growth vs. value studies Optimal and suboptimal portfolios




Certified Annuity Specialist

CERTIFIED ANNUITY SPECIALIST® (CAS®) DESIGNATION PROGRAM – MS 510 The Certified Annuity Specialist® (CAS®) program is an intermediate-to-advanced course on fixed-rate, variable and equity-indexed annuities. Although a number of misperceptions and half-truths surround these products, annuities are a viable investment vehicle, especially for retirement planning, evidenced by the hundreds of billions of dollars invested in annuities each year. This program teaches valuable knowledge and skills essential to a successful career. The CAS® curriculum details complexities of annuities with strategies for when and how to use annuities for their risk management, retirement, tax and estate planning benefits. Annuity analysis and selection, asset allocation and portfolio planning are also covered, thereby providing the student with a well-rounded education. Course content is written by experienced advisors who are able to transform subject matter into something meaningful and practical. After completing this program, you will view this investment vehicle in a new light and have the knowledge to enhance your practice. The program leads to the Certified Annuity Specialist® (CAS®) designation, the oldest and most recognized annuity designation in the industry. The confusion surrounding this investment vehicle means potential investors will demand an advisor who has both integrity and knowledge —a specialist. The CAS® designation distinguishes your experience, education, credibility and professional qualifications, emphasizing your ability to provide recommendations and valuable advice to clients.

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students will gain annuity knowledge and an understanding of using this investment vehicle in their financial advising practice.


Fixed-rate, variable and equity-indexed annuity features and benefits

Annuitization and other methods of generating income

Characteristics of variable annuities and their subaccount categories

Contract structure and tax treatment

Living benefits and strategies

Portfolio composition, risk and optimal allocations



Subject highlights below are a partial list of topics covered.

CORE • • • • • • •

Annuity basics, features and benefits Suitability, illustrations and marketing Performance metrics for risk and return Subaccount asset classes and categories Tax treatment of distributions and gifts Liquidity, penalties and premium taxes Asset allocation basics



• • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Assessing risk tolerance Contract structure and ramifications Suitability: annuities vs. mutual funds Annuity guarantees and insurance features Risk measurements and allocations Management criteria and selection Using annuities for retirement income Variable annuity investment options Spousal election and joint ownership Asset/liability matching Fixed-rate vs. variable annuitization Equity-indexed annuities Floors, spreads and participation rates

Balancing client goals and concerns Structured settlements Alternatives to annuitization Death prior to and after annuitization date Mechanics of EIA investing Stepped-rate and market value annuities Certificate and bonus rate contracts Building a client portfolio How living benefits work Modern portfolio theory (MPT) Risk dilution Fiduciary concerns Investor psychology Annuity niche markets



Certified Estate and Trust Specialist

CERTIFIED ESTATE "/%53645 SPECIALIST™ (CES™ ) DESIGNATION PROGRAM – MS 520 The Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™ (CES™) program provides knowledge that will advance your practice with tools to attract and retain wealthy clients. Estate planning offers the advisor a way to structure and market a financial services practice to clients looking for an integrated approach that will solve multiple concerns. The CES™ curriculum transforms legalese into steps and procedures that can be immediately implemented. The ins and outs of trusts are a central part of the program, but lesser-known estate planning devices and strategies are also examined and clarified. Ownership, tax planning and control issues are addressed for investments, insurance and other assets. The course goes beyond plan creation, covering funding, management and circumstances such as what needs to be done after a death or divorce. The program leads to the Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™ (CES™) designation, the premiere estate planning designation in the financial services industry. CES™ certification distinguishes your experience, education, credibility and professional qualifications, highlighting advanced knowledge that complements your insurance and investment advice.

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students will gain estate planning knowledge and an understanding of applying planning principles in their financial advising practice.


Property transfers during life and at death

Taxation and risks of transfers

Trusts and wills—requirements, responsibilities and uses

Drafting an estate plan

Post-mortem planning


Subject highlights below are a partial list of topics covered.

CORE • • • • • • •

Wills and probate Living trust features and benefits Executors and trustees Estate and gift taxation Retirement benefits Life and health insurance Social security



• • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Reducing taxes with trusts Protecting assets from probate Disinheritance and divorce Disclaimers and incapacity What to do if there is no will or trust Advising survivors after a death Final income tax return Bypass trusts and QTIPs Overview of ongoing trusts Revocable and irrevocable trusts Special property ownership rules State exemptions from probate Generation-skipping trusts

Joint tenancies and transferring property Pay-on-death accounts Irrevocable life insurance trusts Caring for children and their property Controlling assets and distribution Making claims Combining trusts Powers of attorney Charitable lead and remainder trusts Special procedures for small estates Wrapping up a living or AB trust Body and organ donations Planning for funerals and services



Certified Tax Specialist

CERTIFIED TAX SPECIALIST™ (CTS™) DESIGNATION PROGRAM – MS 530 The Certified Tax Specialist™ (CTS™) program is a comprehensive course on individual income taxes. Income taxes affect every investment and most financial planning decisions. Many successful practices are built around tax advice. This program enables advisors to enhance the value and thoroughness of their service. The CTS™ textbook is easy to follow and covers all aspects of individual and joint returns with numerous examples. Materials are written so they are of value to the novice as well as the advanced practitioner. The course covers planning strategies such as how to use a prospect’s tax return to personalize the advisory process, taking it to a higher level of sophistication. By applying fundamental and advanced tax knowledge, advisors can increase a client’s rate of return without extra risk. The program leads to the Certified Tax Specialist™ (CTS™) designation. The CTS™ designation distinguishes your experience, education, credibility and professional qualifications, highlighting real-world knowledge valued by clients.

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students will gain personal income tax knowledge and an understanding of tax issues in their financial advising practice.


Understand and apply the tax formula

Calculate exemptions, deductions, credits and capital gains

Be familiar with what constitutes gross income and exclusions

Knowledge of withholding, estimated payments and payroll taxes

Complete an individual income tax return


Subject highlights below are a partial list of topics covered.

CORE • • • • • •

Basic tax liability computations Filing status and deductions Capital gains and losses Interest and dividend income IRAs and qualified plans Annuities and life insurance



• • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Installment sales Like-kind exchanges Alternative minimum tax Employee fringe benefits Travel and entertainment allowances Home offices FICA and self-employment taxes Child care and dependency rules Energy credits Section 1231 gains and losses Limitations on deductions and exemptions IRS audit process

Tax strategies and planning Health insurance Social security benefits Passive losses and rental income Business expensing The nanny tax Luxury automobiles Sale of a personal residence Rollover options and concerns Interest and penalty taxes Taxpayer bill of rights Statute of limitations



Certified Income Specialist

CERTIFIED INCOME SPECIALIST™ (CIS™) DESIGNATION PROGRAM – MS 540 The Certified Income Specialist™ (CIS™) program is an intermediate-to-advanced course on sources of income for the retiree. As clients age, priorities change from accumulation to current income. One of the biggest fears of an aging population is outliving one’s assets. An even more immediate concern is health care. Being able to differentiate between policies and programs that represent wise planning and those likely to be disappointing can be the core of an effective and appealing advisory practice. CIS™ materials, written by advisors for advisors, emphasize conservative to moderate-risk investment vehicles, going beyond fixed-rate instruments and professionally-managed products. Students learn advanced approaches to meeting a client’s financial goals within their risk tolerance. The course also covers traditional and non-traditional strategies in wealth preservation, health insurance, tax and estate planning. This program leads to the Certified Income Specialist™ (CIS™) designation. The CIS™ is able to address each client’s concerns and provide real world answers that are time tested. The CIS™ designation distinguishes your experience, education, credibility and professionalism while emphasizing your unique qualifications.

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students will gain knowledge related to retirement income and an understanding of using specific investment vehicles and strategies in their financial advising practice.


Understand how several dozen investment vehicles work

Become familiar with risk measurements and solutions

Insured portfolio solutions

Tax aspects for planning strategies and asset classes

Income solutions for retirees


Subject highlights below are a partial list of topics covered.

CORE • • • • • • •

Investment concepts and principles Overview of retirement planning Bond building blocks Cash reserves and equivalents Government vs. mortgage-backed issues Convertible securities Stock market fundamentals



• • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • •

Assessing risk tolerance Bond risk and default rates Investment policy statements Risk minimization strategies Life cycle investing Rollover and withdrawal strategies Filing status and tax computations Deductions, exemptions and credits Medicare: qualification and coverage Helping children and grandchildren Fiduciary standards and concerns Riding the yield curve Tax diversification

Corporate vs. municipal debt Balancing client goals and concerns Barbells and ladders Foreign vs. emerging market debt Social security Standard Medigap plans Income withdrawal programs Utilities, bonds and preferreds Real estate and REITs Stretch IRAs Annuitization revival and legitimacy


Master of Science in Financial Services Degree After having thoroughly reviewed several dozen MBA and MSFS programs throughout the country, the Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) developed its own graduate-degree curriculum and devised practical investment advisor training. While other Master’s programs provide a great deal of theory, often that theory has little relevance or applicability to an advisor's actual practice. Graduate-degree business courses may include real-world case studies, but their fact patterns have little to do with estate, financial or tax planning outside of academia. Like each designation offered by IBF, the MSFS program focuses on the practical. Students gain knowledge that can be used in their daily practice. The core of the MSFS curriculum is the five IBF certification programs. The IBF MSFS was the first—and remains the only—graduate program to be designed by practitioners for practitioners. IBF believes it offers the best training in the financial services industry. A small number of designations offered by other institutions are also held in high regard by IBF. However, the reality is few people know the meaning of any certification mark or what it takes to obtain a legitimate designation. However, everyone recognizes a Master’s degree, as well as the time commitment and effort involved in a graduate-level program. Obtaining an MSFS degree means you are in a class above other designations or undergraduate degrees. IBF has been the leader in educating the financial services industry since 1988.

MSFS Learning Objectives The goal of the MSFS graduate degree program is to provide the student with advanced estate, financial and tax planning knowledge. Before a degree is awarded, candidates must show a mastery of the learning objectives presented within each completed course. In order to demonstrate this competence, students must pass a series of examinations, culminating in a financial planning capstone course. MSFS graduates will be proficient in the following areas:


Candidates will acquire fundamental knowledge of a wide range of topics, ideas and theories. These basics will form a foundation from which additional skill sets are to be acquired and improved upon.


Students will be able to spot issues as well as provide general and specific recommendations that can be defended regardless of expected or unexpected events. Candidates will be able turn goals into specific objectives that can be prioritized. Students will gain insight into the probabilities of obtaining such objectives as well as different methodologies than can be utilized.


Candidates will have a wide range of knowledge to draw upon, thereby being able to list, address and comment upon each of several possible solutions. Such recommended courses of action will address applicable time constraints, preferences, risks, statistical measurements, tax issues, titling and future ownership.



Students will acquire communication skills based upon an effective and logical flow of information that is comprehensive, easy to follow and to understand. Students will be able to defend suggested courses of action and be able to list the strengths and weaknesses of such recommendations.


Candidates will develop methods and timing of implementation. Recommended actions shall be defendable based upon theory as well as practical knowledge gained during the coursework.


Program graduates are expected to have gained the necessary tools for lifetime learning and to share such knowledge with others. Students will learn that much of the information gained is not static and requires continuous study long after the granting of a degree or a designation.

MSFS Curriculum Core Designation Programs (3 semester units each) Complete all five designation programs: • • • • •

MS500 - Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) MS510 - Certified Annuity Specialist® (CAS®) MS520 - Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™ (CES™) MS530 - Certified Tax Specialist™ (CTS™) MS540 - Certified Income Specialist™ (CIS™)

MSFS Courses (3 semester units each) Complete all six of the following courses: • • • • • •

MS600 - Financial Planning MS610 - Investments MS620 - Real Estate MS630 - Portfolio Management MS640 - Insurance MS650 - Retirement Plans and Employee Benefits

Capstone Course (3 semester units)

Students must complete the capstone course: •

MS700 - The Financial Plan

Before an MSFS degree is granted, the candidate must complete 36 semester hours (see above).


MSFS Courses Number and Title • MS600 - Financial Planning • MS610 - Investments • MS620 - Real Estate • MS630 - Portfolio Management • MS640 - Insurance • MS650 - Retirement Plans and Employee Benefits • MS700 - The Financial Plan

Prerequisites MS500 through MS540 MS600 MS600 MS600 MS600 MS600 MS600 through MS650


500 Level—Graduate level courses for the master’s degree programs. They assume the student has already completed an undergraduate degree or has worked in the financial services industry for one year. 600 – 700 Level—Graduate level courses for the master’s degree programs. They assume that the student has already completed an undergraduate degree or equivalent, or has the experience, knowledge and ability to work at the graduate level.


IBF has structured its courses and exams to highlight what the practitioner faces daily. Whether you have been in the industry for a short period of time or are a seasoned professional, you will reap immediate rewards in return for your commitment of time and study. The courses described below are required courses for the MSFS graduate degree program. Course Structure • Each course takes 135 hours, depending on student background • Materials include numerous sample exam questions Examinations • Two exams • Each exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions • More than one exam can be taken at a time


MSFS Course Descriptions MS600 - Financial Planning | Overview

(3 credits) This financial planning course has depth, breadth and technical sophistication necessary to prepare the planning professional for meeting challenges of the 21st century. The textbook is widely used by universities across the country. For new practitioners, the course serves as a comprehensive and effective source that fills in areas of technical weakness; it provides a practical guide for those instances when the planner’s experience comes up short. For experienced planners, the text is an invaluable educational reference when facing issues infrequently encountered, a handy technical reference. Prerequisites: MS500, MS510, MS520, MS530 and MS540

MS610 - Investments | Overview

(3 credits) The last few decades have brought rapid, profound and ongoing changes to investments and the financial services industry. This course examines those changes in the evolving investment environment. Content emphasize practical applications of investment theory and concentrates on the intuition and insights useful to practitioners. This course shows students the link between theory and practice. Materials are consistent with those of the CFA Institute (Chartered Financial Analyst) and considered core investment knowledge for the practitioner. Content covers major issues that concern all investors. Prerequisite: MS600

MS620 - Real Estate | Overview

(3 credits) The course begins with important legal concepts related to ownership rights and real estate notes and mortgages; time value of money is also considered. The student is then introduced to real estate financing, including fixed rate, adjustable rate, hybrid, subprime and home equity-based loans. Family housing as an investment is then considered—the demand for housing, whether a residence should be rented or owned, tax considerations, expected appreciation and investing in distressed properties. The next section of the course covers investment analysis and financing of income property. It includes a lengthy discussion of leases, rent determination, expense recoveries and other options and features unique to the four major property types. There is in-depth coverage of methods used to estimate the value of commercial properties, financing alternatives, risk analysis and disposition. Construction and land development projects are then considered. This type of asset poses greater risk since a development process is included. Risks and expected returns are looked at from the perspective of lenders and investors. Topics include construction and development loan structure, how a developer receives advances and methods of loan repayment. The last part of the course covers joint venture structures used by developers and investors. Mortgage-backed securities, including collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), are detailed. Domestic and foreign REITs are examined, along with real estate derivatives as collateral. The use of real estate in a portfolio of traditional stocks and bonds is explored along with an introduction to how asset managers view real estate relative to other domestic and foreign asset classes. Prerequisite: MS600


MS630 - Portfolio Management | Overview

(3 credits) The course is on portfolio management and investment analysis. The purpose of the course is to help the advisor better manage client portfolios by becoming familiar with asset alternatives and methods of portfolio analysis. The course is divided into six parts: asset allocation choices, developments in investment theory, financial statements and security valuation, stock and bond analysis, derivatives and management evaluation. Prerequisite: MS600

MS640 - Insurance | Overview

(3 credits) The course is a detailed view of the fundamentals of risk, theory, current practices and insurance products. Emphasis is on what a financial professional must know about insurance in order to effectively serve clients, including product sales, analysis and evaluation of different types of insurance products and specific policies. All topics covered in the CFP and CLU insurance programs are covered in the materials. The beginning parts of the course cover risk, the insurance business, basic legal insurance principles, contract analysis, Social Security, Medicare and other government programs. These foundation topics are followed by an extensive discussion of life insurance, annuities, medical expense insurance, homeowner policies, auto insurance plus other property and liability insurance coverage. Both personal and business needs of clients are addressed. Prerequisite: MS600

MS650 - Retirement Plans and Employee Benefits | Overview

(3 credits) The course is on individual and employer-sponsored retirement plans. The text presents materials with a large number of practical examples. Topics are presented from the perspective of a financial planner. Materials were designed to meet educational requirements for a retirement course in a CFP Board-Registered Program. The course begins with an overview of retirement funding and traits common to qualified retirement plans. Materials cover specific types of plans: pension, profit sharing, stock bonus, employee stock ownership, 403(b), 457 and SIMPLEs. The course includes separate sections on distributions, installation, administration and termination. SEPs, traditional and Roth IRAs are also covered. Social Security retirement benefits are included as well as deferred compensation, nonqualified plans plus employee fringe and group benefits. Prerequisite: MS600

MS700 - The Financial Plan | Overview

(3 credits) This is the capstone course for the MSFS program and is comprised of two books. The first book covers three broad themes. First, there is an in-depth and multidisciplinary explanation of the financial planning process. Second, discussion of the planning process is surrounded with a description of concepts central to the advisor’s practice (ethics, legal and regulatory), planner-client communication and decision-making processes. Third, there is an explanation of model financial plan components plus process documentation and client and advisor guidance. The second book combines the practicalities of the real world with the academic approach used by graduate school financial planning courses. The emphasis is on the case study approach: offering student and advisor approaches to financial plan development, presentation and monitoring. Prerequisites: MS600, MS610, MS620, MS630, MS640 and MS650



IBF designations are regulated by FINRA. To use your designation marks on business cards, letterhead and marketing materials, you must be in compliance. In order to hold IBF designation marks, you are required to pay a $100 annual recertification fee (subsequent designations are $25 each) and report 30 hours of CE every two years. By meeting IBF’s ongoing competency requirements of continuing education, adhering to IBF’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, designees demonstrate their commitment to ongoing education and professionalism.


In keeping with our goal to provide education that is current, relevant and practical, IBF curriculum developers conduct ongoing research to improve course content. IBF spots trends, reviews new products and examines other relevant information used by the practitioner. Based on this research, IBF publishes Quarterly Updates that are provided to all active students and graduates. The free quarterly updates are intended to keep the practitioner current with new studies, performance figures and opinions by recognized practitioners, the securities industry, federal agencies and other well-respected sources. The readings include summary compilations of a wide range of investment topics from various financial sources and publications.


The IBF Reference Series contains two parts: the first covers stocks and bonds and the second is an Advanced Advisory Source. These sheets are designed as tools or summary information about a specific topic. For more information, please refer to the IBF Reference Series section on page 22.


IBF is pleased to provide its members with product service providers that offer the advantage of discounted rates on a variety of services and products. Each of our partnering companies within IBF Partner Resources have been carefully reviewed, selected and promoted to ensure they met the standards of quality and value for our members. Receive discounts on Wall Street Journal subscriptions, Bachrach & Associates, BrokerPoint, Emerald Connect, Kaplan, Larkspur Data, PC Mall Gov, Securities Training Corporation, QuoteActions and more.


Investors interested in contacting an IBF designee in their area frequently search our online membership directory without having to log in or use a password. Prospective clients can search by name, city or zip code. They can also search by designation or company name. Search results include links to designee profiles. As a graduate and designee, you are able to update your profile to reflect your qualifications. Additionally, clients are able to view course descriptions, the IBF Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, so they further understand your expertise and commitment. Like Quarterly Updates, the Member Registry and Designee Profiles are free.


Continuing Education Courses offered by the Institute of Business & Finance are approved for continuing education (CE) credit to meet your professional development requirements. Approvals are subject to change and the student is responsible for confirming the credits approved for a given state or organization. Upon request by the student, IBF Student Services will submit course completion information for CE credit.  Students requesting CE credit are responsible for paying any reporting fees charged by states or other reporting organizations.  State AL AR

CFS® 38 20

CAS® 29 20

CES™ P 20

CIS™ P 20


32 32 32

60 60 60

30 30 P

21 21 P







23 30 12

14 24 35

15 30 18

P 30 18


24 32 12

24 40 12

P 30 12

P 21 12


32 24

P 24


24 P


49 16

29 16

25 16

17 16


60 30

48 30

60 30

60 21





P 16































15 P

15 20

15 P













15 24 12

15 24 12

24 24 12

21 24 12







P 21

25 24

P 24

24 24

WV Provider CFP





CFS® 15

CAS® 15

CES™ 15

CIS™ 15

















Note: a “P” indicates that the program is pending approval.

IBF Reference Series What is the IBF Reference Series?

A frustration by all investment and insurance advisors is finding a single reference source that can be used on a daily basis. Impress your clients with upfront knowledge whenever you are on the phone or in a meeting by referencing detailed information quickly. The IBF Reference Series contains two parts: the first covers stocks and bonds and the second is an advanced advisory source. Part 1 – IBF Reference Sheets – Stocks and Bonds The first part of the IBF Reference Series is six pages of information tailored to assist the advisor on a daily basis. The pages contain easily referenced information on stocks and bonds. There are two pages of charts and tables on bonds and two pages on stocks. The final two pages are commentary to customize your presentation. As an IBF member or student in good standing, you are entitled to a free copy (plus free shipping and handling) of the Part 1- IBF Reference Sheets - Stocks and Bonds.

Part 2 – IBF Reference Sheets – Advanced Advisory Source The second part of the IBF Reference Series is 16 pages of information on: Fixed-Rate Annuities Real Estate Risk Reduction Medicare 2011 Commodities Income Taxes 2011 Social Security Asset Allocation Municipal Bonds

Retirement Income 2011 Retirement and Education Plans Growth Stocks and Value Stocks

These additional sheets are designed as tools or summary information about a specific topic. Each topic is 1-2 pages and color-coded. Active IBF students and designees can purchase the Advanced Advisory Source for $49. Non-members can purchase the entire IBF References Series for $89. Both prices include shipping and handling.


Tuition and Fees Tuition for each program is shown on the enrollment agreement. The agreement lists tuition and any fees for each designation program or MSFS course. Tuition and fees are fixed at the time of enrollment. They are subject to change with notification to students upon re-enrollment. All designations and courses include: all exam fees, $35 shipping and handling fee, books and study materials. MSFS Designations Course # Units Tuition Tuition Miscellaneous Fees Certified Fund Specialist® MS500 3 $1,165 $965 $95 Non-Refundable Processing Fee Certified Annuity Specialist® MS510 3 $1,165 $965 $40 Three-Month Course Extension Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™ MS520 3 $1,165 $965 $65 Practice Exams Certified Tax Specialist™ MS530 3 $1,165 $965 $30 Transcript Evaluation Fee Certified Income Specialist™ MS540 3 $1,165 $965 $75 Re-Exam Fee $20 Additional Transcript Courses Expedited Shipping Fees Financial Planning MS600 3 $795 Investments MS610 3 $795 $40 Two-Day Shipping Real Estate MS620 3 $795 $70 Overnight Shipping Portfolio Management MS630 3 $795 $90 Overnight Shipping (Saturday) Insurance MS640 3 $795 $200 International Shipping Retirement Plans & Employee Benefits MS650 3 $795 Capstone Requirement The Financial Plan


Application Fee


$895 $395

Total Cost


CANCELLATION POLICY — BUYER’S RIGHT TO CANCEL – Students have the right to cancel their

Enrollment Agreement. Cancellation shall occur when student submits a written and signed Notice of Cancellation to Institute of Business & Finance, 4141 Jutland Drive, Suite 330, San Diego, CA 92117 or via fax to (866) 418-2495. The written Notice of Cancellation, if delivered by mail, is effective when deposited in the mail properly addressed with postage prepaid. Enrollment is non-transferable. IBF shall refund all fees paid if cancellation occurs within ten days after enrolling. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO WITHDRAW AND OBTAIN A REFUND – Fees paid, less shipping and non-refundable processing, are refundable within 12 months of enrollment according to the schedule below. If the student cancels or withdraws within ten days of enrollment, IBF shall issue a refund within five days after IBF receives notice of withdrawal. Otherwise, IBF shall issue a refund within 30 days after IBF receives notice of withdrawal. Example: A student enrolls on the 8th of the month paying $1,165 (which includes the $200 non-refundable processing fee and $35 shipping fee). On the 15th of the following month, after taking one exam, the student submits a written Notice of Cancellation. The student will receive a refund of $465 ($1,165 $200 -$35 = $930 * ½ = $465). Exams Taken Refund


None 100%

Exam 1 50%

Exams 2 or 3 0%


You must pay the state-imposed assessment for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) if all of the following applies to you: 1. You are a student, who is a California resident and prepays all or part of your tuition either by cash, guaranteed student loans, or personal loans and 2. Your total charges are not paid by any third-party payer such as an employer, government program or other payer unless you have a separate agreement to repay the third party. You are not eligible for protection from the STRF, and you are not required to pay the STRF assessment, if either of the following applies: 1. You are not a California resident. 2. Your total charges are paid by a third party, such as an employer, government program or other payer, and you have no separate agreement to repay the third party. The State of California created the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic losses suffered by California residents who were students attending certain schools regulated by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. You may be eligible for STRF if you are a California resident, prepaid tuition, paid the STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of any of the following: 1. The school closed before the course of instruction was completed. 2. The school’s failure to pay refunds or charges on behalf of a student to a third party for license fees or any other purpose, or to provide equipment or materials for which a charge was collected within 180 days before the closure of the school. 3. The school’s failure to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federally guaranteed student loan program as required by law or to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the school prior to closure in excess of tuition and other cost. 4. There was a decline in the quality of the course of instruction within 30 days before the school closed or, if the decline began earlier than 30 days prior to closure, the period of decline determined by the Bureau. 5. An inability to collect on a judgment against the institution for a violation of the Act.


If a student obtains a loan to pay for an educational program, the student will have the responsibility to repay the full amount of the loan plus interest, less the amount of any refund. The Institute of Business & Finance programs are not eligible for federal student financial aid funds at this time.


Many of our customers see the value in putting groups of employees through our designation programs together. Corporate and group discounts can be obtained once a Corporate Affiliate Program (CAP) form has been completed and approved. Contact Corporate Accounts at (800) 848-2029 or email for further details.


IBF offers interest-free monthly payment plans. The school does not participate in federal financial aid.



Before becoming an IBF designee, all students must have at least five years of work experience in the financial services industry or a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Students may take IBF courses and examinations prior to completing a bachelor's degree or five years of work experience, but a designation will not be granted until the required minimum number of hours has been fulfilled or a bachelor's degree granted. Once a student has passed all three examinations and has successfully completed the written case study, he or she will then be required to provide a job title, dates of employment, name of employer(s), a description of work-related responsibilities and duties, hours per week devoted to financial services and educational background including attendance dates and degree(s) granted. IBF may verify employment records, qualifications and disciplinary history through FINRA's Central Registration Depository (CRD) or by contacting a college or university registrar's office.


Institute of Business & Finance (IBF) welcomes individuals who are not seeking a designation from the Institute but wish to continue their education. Non-designation seeking students are individuals who may be taking coursework for personal enrichment or job enhancement. Non-designation seeking students must formally apply and are subject to all policies that apply to designee students, as outlined herein. These students must show proof of a high school diploma or equivalent. Transcripts (prior college and/or military training) are not required to enroll in a non-designation seeking status. There are no additional fees and tuition is the same regardless of student status. A non-designation seeking student who later decides to pursue a designation will be required to supply transcripts or proof of work experience. An IBF representative will assist students desiring to make this change.


Master’s degree candidates may enroll in a course or the complete MSFS degree program. MSFS students must have a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 2.5, supported by official transcripts. No GMAT or GRE score is required. A $395 application fee must be submitted with the MSFS application ($300 will be refunded if admission is denied). All applicants must submit official transcripts from each college or university attended within 90 days of application submission.


Admission process is as follows: 1. Request program information and an enrollment agreement. 2. Complete enrollment agreement and submit required enrollment fee; the agreement outlines student and Institute obligations. 3. Submit proof of bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited college or university. 4. Once IBF has received and reviewed application materials, applicant will receive prompt notification of acceptance or rejection. 5. Students are admitted to the complete MSFS program, but enrollments are processed one course at a time. The first enrollment agreement outlines entire degree program requirements. 6. If previous accredited institution coursework was completed, official transcripts may be evaluated for transfer credit. Once all official transcripts have been received and reviewed, an evaluation form will be sent to the student showing all transfer credits awarded. A student may earn up to 6 semester hours of graduate level credit from other accredited institutions. Transfer credits must be less than 10 years old with a grade of B or higher. Content equivalency is required for any course transferred. 7. Students will be sent the first required course and subsequent courses, based on their transfer credit evaluation and current curricular requirements.


Advanced standing may, on approval by faculty, be granted to those applicants who have completed comparable work with a “C” grade or higher, from accredited institutions, as evidenced by an official college transcript or evidence of College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) certification. Only official transcripts will be accepted. Transcripts should be submitted as soon as students enroll. Any course already shipped to a student will not qualify for evaluation. In addition, IBF considers guidelines of the College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT) of the American Council on Education (ACE). ACE provides guidelines for nontraditional education experiences, such as military service. All applicants accepted with advanced standing must complete a minimum of 66.6% of the total credit hours with IBF to be eligible for the MSFS degree.


NOTICE CONCERNING TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUR INSTITUTION: The transferability of credits you earn at the Institute of Business & Finance is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree you earn in your program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits or credential that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending IBF to determine if your credits or credential will transfer. Students planning to transfer to another institution or attend graduate school should inquire with the institution they are interested in regarding the acceptance of IBF’s credit or degree. In addition, any student interested in obtaining state licensure or a teaching credential should contact the appropriate licensing body for the necessary educational requirements.



The Institute of Business & Finance does not have articulation agreements in place with any institution.


Students can enroll online, by mail, or fax a completed printed version of the Enrollment Agreement. IBF courses are open to degree-seeking, designation-seeking, and professional development students who meet the minimum standards listed under Entrance Requirements.


The student is required to sign the Enrollment Agreement form prior to acceptance to IBF and to retain a copy in his/her files. The enrollee is not considered officially a registered student until IBF has processed the signed Enrollment Agreement and all admissions documentation has been submitted and accepted.


All degree-seeking applicants must submit official college records. Previous academic work will be evaluated for possible credits to be applied to the degree programs at IBF. Allowable transfer credits are formally identified and documented. The official transfer credit evaluation is recorded and then filed with the student’s academic file. An official transcript must be received before final transfer work can be accepted and recorded. Course descriptions may also need to be provided if Admissions does not have the relevant catalog from the sending institution. IBF will maintain a written record of the previous education and training of all students; that record will clearly indicate that credit has been granted. Degree requirements are determined by combining the transfer credits allowed and the required academic work to be successfully completed at the Institute. Students can request a copy of the transfer evaluation. 1. Transfer Credit Limits a. A maximum of 20% of the credits required for the master’s degree may be given through transfer credit from courses relevant to the degree. b. Once a student has matriculated at IBF, all further transfer credits must have prior approval of the Chief Academic Officer. 2. Basis for Institutional Transfer Credit a. Transfer credits (if earned within the U.S.) may be accepted from institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. 3. Evaluation process a. During the transfer credit evaluation process, academic work from other colleges and universities is compared to IBF courses and transfer credits are awarded on the basis of similar curriculum and if necessary, comparison of syllabi. All transcripts received become IBF property and will not be copied or released to other institutions.


No credit for experiential learning may be awarded toward the master’s degree program.


Student identity is confirmed through the FINRA or SEC database. Student identity is also verified through the use of proctored exams.


Academic Integrity The IBF Student Code of Conduct protects the rights of students, faculty and staff. This code ensures student and faculty/staff interactions are characterized by mutual respect and civility. IBF students are required to abide by all standards and policies established by the school. Students shall: 1. Treat fellow students, faculty and staff with courtesy and respect and behave in a manner that reflects the school’s integrity. 2. Comply with directions of IBF officials acting in the performance of their duties. 3. Accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions. 4. Abide by all published policies including, but not limited to, those that appear in IBF catalogs, student handbooks, study materials and enrollment agreements. 5. Never misrepresent IBF or its staff in any online social communities. 6. Observe all rules on submitting work and taking examinations and never turn in work that is not their own or present another person’s ideas as their own. 7. Never ask for, receive or give unauthorized help on graded assignments or exams. The Student Code of Conduct, as well as the preceding guidelines, apply to all IBF students. An IBF official may, at his/her discretion, take disciplinary action up to and including student dismissal from IBF for failure to comply with any aspect of the Student Code of Conduct.


Cheating is any inappropriate collaborative activity in which work submitted is not that of the enrolled student. This would include submission of someone else’s work and answers obtained through inappropriate means or from another student. If cheating is suspected, the student will be notified and required to respond in writing to the charges made. The response will go before the Academic Standards Committee for an enrollment decision. Disciplinary action may include enrollment termination. Inappropriate behavior on the part of a student or proctor in the final exam process will result in an invalid exam, which must be repeated as a make-up test.


Plagiarism is another form of unethical behavior. Plagiarism is dishonestly using another person’s ideas or finished work as your own without giving source credit. It includes copying or paraphrasing something and using it as if you had done the work yourself. Students who submit plagiarized work will be disciplined. Possible measures may include expulsion. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to do your own work.


IBF expects students to behave properly and use good judgment when communicating online with the school. Illegal or improper use of IBF’s portal environment is not permitted and may result in disciplinary action.


Any inappropriate behavior can result in several forms of disciplinary action, including awarding a non-passing grade on an exam or termination. Faculty members will report inappropriate student behavior by students; this will be forwarded to the Academic Standards Committee for action and final decision.


Academic Policies Students are expected to be familiar with the information presented in this school catalog, in any supplements and addenda to the catalog, and with all school policies. By enrolling in IBF, students agree to accept and abide by the terms stated in this catalog and all school policies. If there is any conflict between any statement in this catalog and the enrollment agreement signed by the student, the provision in the enrollment agreement controls and is binding.


Grades are awarded on a traditional A+, A, A-, B+, B, B- ... F system. The minimum passing grade in master’s level courses is a C. The minimum allowable cumulative grade point average to maintain satisfactory progress for the master’s degree program is a B, or 3.0. In calculating a student's grade point average, the following policy applies: Grade A+ B+ C+ D+ F

Points 4 3.33 2.33 1.33 0

Grade A B C D

Points 4 3 2 1

Grade ABCD-

Points 3.67 2.67 1.67 0.67

Grade reports are available to students online. Grades are based on the quality of work as shown by exams, case studies and projects as indicated on the course syllabus. Earned quality points are calculated for each course by multiplying the quality point value for the grade received for the course times the credit hour value of the course. For example, a 3.0 credit course with a grade of B would earn 9.0 quality points [credit value of course (3) times quality point value of B (3)]. The Cumulative Grade Point Average (cGPA) is calculated by dividing the total earned quality points by the total attempted credits.


Students who achieve a minimum 3.4 or higher cumulative grade point average will receive their degrees with the following honors designation: 3.4 – Cum Laude 3.6 – Magna Cum Laude 3.8 – Summa Cum Laude


Students who withdraw from a course or program are expected to notify Student Services in writing. If applicable, a prorated refund will be issued according to IBF’s refund policy. Reenrollment in the same course(s) at a later date will require payment of full tuition for that course.


Students failing to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress will be dismissed with the right to appeal to the Academic Review Committee for re-admittance. Students will be notified of academic dismissal, in writing, by the Registrar.



As a requirement for graduation, students must also be current on all financial obligations in order to receive final transcripts.


Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 10, Private Postsecondary Education, IBF is required to maintain student records for a minimum of five (5) years and transcripts of grades for a period of fifty (50) years.


Degree-seeking students must maintain an active enrollment by taking at least one course every academic year. If students do not maintain continuous enrollment, they must reapply to the degree program and file for reinstatement by contacting the Office of Admissions and Records.


IBF has adopted the following definition of a semester-credit-hour: As a general guideline, semester-credit-hour represents a total of 45 hours of student study.


A student may receive a leave of absence by writing a letter to the Student Services Department stating the reason and the expected date of reactivation. All leaves of absence must be approved by the Institute in advance.


Students may be assessed through the use of quizzes, case studies, projects and exams. The use of proctors is a regulatory requirement which enables us to verify student identity and assess if learning outcomes have been met.


Multiple-choice exams are taken using IBF’s Exams on Demand in the student portal. Students are eligible to sit for one or more of the examinations 10 days after course enrollment. Each exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions.


In all courses, students will be expected to obtain a Proctor to administer their exams (please refer to the Student Handbook for further explanation). An acceptable proctor is someone with no conflict of interest in upholding IBF’s academic integrity. Relatives, friends and spouses of the student are not acceptable proctors.



Students must show regular progress toward completion of their degree or certificate program. Students not showing any academic progress for a period of one year are subject to dismissal from the Institute.


To be awarded an IBF designation, a candidate must: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Complete all assignments Pass three exams Pass case study requirement Sign IBF Code of Ethics and IBF Standards of Practice Complete course within two years of enrollment Meet all financial obligations

To be awarded the Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) degree, a candidate must: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Complete 36 semester units Pass all courses Complete a minimum of 80% of total credits through IBF Complete all required courses within five years of enrollment Meet all financial obligations


Students are given 12 months to complete each course. Students may request four paid three-month extensions per course as long as the entire course is completed within two years for a designation or MSFS course or five years for the MSFS degree. Students who do not complete the program within the required time limit would need to re-enroll in the then current program. Previous work would be evaluated against the current curriculum to determine which courses could be transferred into the new enrollment.


The Institute of Business & Finance’s programs can be completed 100% online. There are no residence requirements.


All applicants whose native language is not English, or who have not earned a degree or diploma from an accredited institution where English is the principle language of instruction, must receive a TOEFL score of 500 on the paper-based test (TOEFL) 61 on the IBT or its equivalent. For more information, please refer to


Student Services The Institute of Business & Finance provides a variety of student services for all enrolled students. Contact Student Services for further details. Students receive the following information to begin their IBF studies: • Student Manual – Information on the IBF experience (also available online). • Course Syllabus – Lists required books, assignments and exams (also available online).


Students who have questions or problems with any course are encouraged to visit the website at The IBF website features information on IBF and details on all programs, as well as links to other educational resources. From the website, students can view their records, take exams and e-mail IBF personnel. Visit the site at Students can call (800) 848-2029; IBF personnel are on duty to answer questions from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pacific Time (10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Eastern Time), Monday through Friday. After that time, and on weekends or holidays, students may leave a message; calls will be returned the next business day. Callers must have their student number available. IBF 4141 Jutland Drive, Suite 330 San Diego, CA 92117


IBF respects the student’s right to privacy. To that end, the school maintains a privacy policy that complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). No information regarding an individual student record is released to anyone other than the student until a signed release form from that student has been received. Signed release forms are transferred to a laser optical scanner for permanent storage and reference. Release forms can be obtained from a student service representative.


IBF believes in opportunity for everyone. The school strives to meet the needs of all students by providing instructional support and student services that will enable them to reach their maximum potential. Students who need special accommodations should write a letter to the Chief Academic Officer indicating the nature of the special needs. The student must also provide documented evidence of the disability. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age or physical disability. The school will offer a reasonable accommodation for any qualified student with known disabilities provided the accommodation does not pose an undue hardship on the school or does not force the school to fundamentally alter the educational course, compromise its academic standards or place the disabled individual in a better than equal position with nondisabled students.


The easiest way to change your address is to log on to Click “My Account” (then select “Edit Contact Info”).



The student portal is a secure website that allows a student access to his or her information including schedule, grades, activity, school events, school contact information, and much more. Upon acceptance to IBF, students will be issued a username and password the will provide access to the portal.


The Institute of Business & Finance is an online Institute and therefore has no housing requirements. IBF has no responsibility to find or assist students in finding housing.


Evaluations of student lessons are returned to students within 10 business days of receipt.


Each entering student will review program requirements with admissions personnel as a component of the initial enrollment process. Student Services offers academic advisement to ongoing students, as appropriate.


Master’s students who experience difficulty during their coursework may be provided additional learning assistance. Interested students should contact the Student Services office to request guidance. In addition, students on academic warning or academic probation may be assigned specific assistance.


IBF is an online educational institution and therefore, no visa services are provided.



Students may order their textbooks from IBF’s online bookstore. The bookstore is accessible online from the IBF’s home page. Students are free to purchase textbooks at any bookstore they choose.


Students are provided with resources necessary to complete each course. If additional reference material is desired, students may use their local library. Other resources available are the Internet, military base libraries, and city and county libraries. IBF also keeps a library of additional resources that students may reference. The Internet Public Library, located at, is an additional study resource that offers a list of resources. For technical assistance in locating online reference material, please contact IBF Student Services by calling (800) 848-2029.


No placement services are offered by IBF.


General Information CATALOG RIGHTS

The 2012 catalog and the policies and regulations herein are in effect from January to December 2012. The Institute of Business & Finance (iBF) reserves the right to make changes at any time to any portion of this catalog, including tuition and fees, academic programs and courses, school policies and procedures, faculty and administrative staff, the school calendar and other dates, to modify curriculum and other provisions. Addenda to the catalog may be developed and distributed to cover changes since the initial publication. Any questions a student may have regarding this catalog that have not been satisfactorily answered by the institution may be directed to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at P.O. Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818,, tel: (888) 370-7589 or fax: (916) 263-1897.


Enrollment is continuous with new classes starting on the first day of each month. All Courses are 15 weeks in duration.


All work is performed online. IBF has a physical site in San Diego, CA, which provides offices for administrative and academic personnel; no classes are taught on site.


The Institute of Business & Finance is a 501(c)(3) IBF has never filed for bankruptcy petition, operated as a debtor in possession or had a petition of bankruptcy filed against it under Federal or state law.

APPROVAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT What You Should Know About Our Pending Application for State Approval This institution’s application for approval to operate has not been reviewed by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. For more information, call Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education at (916) 574-7720, or toll-free at (888) 370-7589 or visit its website at A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education by calling (888) 370-7589 or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the bureau's Internet Web site



At the conclusion of every course, students will be asked to complete a Graduation Survey. The evaluation asks for feedback on the student’s learning, the instructor’s performance, and the course overall. We ask for this information to help IBF improve its courses. Evaluations are reviewed by IBF administration for the purpose of improving Student Services, the curriculum and the instructor’s presentation of material.


Partial scholarships may be available through some organizations. Contact Student Services for more information.


Upon initial enrollment, all students are sent a link to a Student Orientation Kit. All IBF programs are structured as distance education programs. Each program uses a text-based, web-enabled approach utilizing a blend of print and electronic media. The online curriculum is delivered via a learning management system powered by Linvio. Students may access their courses at their own convenience. Online courses are self-paced. Students are not required to go to a formal classroom or web-based classroom at specific times and may complete course assignments from any computer. Lessons are completed and any required assignments are submitted via the Internet. Students will need internet access as well as access to a word document type of program, such as Microsoft Word. Students will also need to have the free Adobe Acrobat reader. This institution will email response or evaluation of submitted work within five to ten days of our receipt of student assignments.


As a student of IBF you are guaranteed all of the rights, privileges, and freedom granted to every U.S. citizen. However, with these rights come responsibilities; you are expected to abide by all Federal, State, and local laws. Violation of these laws will be subject to disciplinary action by the Institute and may be referred to the appropriate authorities. By enrolling at IBF, you agree to abide by the Institute’s student conduct regulations. The regulations were adopted to ensure that IBF is able to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning and growth. These regulations were not made to deny any of the rights guaranteed as a citizen. Student complaints should be addressed to the Executive Director, Institute of Business & Finance, 4141 Jutland Drive, Suite 330, San Diego, California 92117.


IBF does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, religious beliefs, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, veteran status or any other classification that precludes a person from consideration as an individual, in solicitation and admission of students, in administration of its educational policies, procedures and activities, nor in its employment practices.



Gordon Williamson - Instructor BA, UC Santa Barbara; MBA, San Diego State University; JD, Cal Western Law School; MSFS, American College


Cory Bowman - Executive Director BA, San Jose State University


Mr. Raymond Ambrosino MSFS, CFP® President, Garden State Securities, Inc. Mr. Adam Bold CFS® Founder and CEO, The Mutual Fund Store® Chief Investment Officer, The Mutual Fund Research Center™


Gordon Williamson - Chairman of the Board Inger Davis - Board Member MA, PhD, University of Chicago Gigi Cantin - Treasurer MA, USC; BA, Cal State Los Angeles

Mr. Hadley Joseph MSFS Smith Barney, Inc. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. Mr. Robert Kuehl MSFS, BA, CFP®, CIS™, CFS®, CAS®, CES™, CTS™ Vice President, H.C. Denison Co., Inc.

Mr. Richard Chrzanowski MSFS, CFS®, CES™, RFC, CAS® Regional Director, Money Concepts Capital Corp.

Mr. Robert Simpson JD, MBA, CFS®, CLU®, ChFC®, RHU, REBC Attorney, Simpson Law

Mr. Alan Cormier MSFS, MS, BS, CFS®, CAS®, CES™, CIS™, CPRS Education Consultant., ING Financial Advisers, LLC

Mr. Randy Watson CLU, CES™ President, Secure Financial, Inc.

Mr. Steve Gerbino MBA, MSFS, CFS®, CTS™, CES™ Gerbino Financial Group Genworth Financial Securities Corporation

Mr. Thomas Welsh MSFS, CFS®, CES™, CTS™, CIS™ Branch Manager, Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

Mr. Anthony Glaza MSFS, MA, BS, CFS®, CAS®, CES™, CIS™ President, Glaza Tax Advisory Group, Inc. Mr. Willard E. Gombert CLU®, CFS®, MBA, MSFS, ChFC® President, ING Financial Partners, Inc.

Mr. Tim Wilkinson CFS®, CMFC Vice President, Sales Learning & Development, ING Funds Mr. David Witz AIF Managing Director, Fiduciary Risk Assessment

Mr. Nicholas Ignatowski CFP®, CFS®, CRPS Managing Member, Ameritas Investment Corp.


Contact Information

Address and Phone 4141 Jutland Drive, Suite 330 San Diego, CA 92117 Toll Free (800) 848-2029 Direct (858) 866-1700 Fax (858) 418-2495

Office Hours

IBF is open for business Monday through Friday from 7:00 A.M. PST to 4:00 P.M. PST.

Holiday Schedule

IBF is closed for the following holidays: New Year’s (1/01, 1/02) President’s Day Memorial Day Independence Day Labor Day Thanksgiving (11/21, 11/22, 11/23) Christmas (12/24, 12/25, 12/26) New Year’s Eve (12/31)

This catalog is valid from January 2012 through December 2012. Rules, policies and procedures are subject to change. IBF reserves the right to adopt, amend or repeal rules and policies that apply to students. This catalog does not constitute a contract or enrollment agreement, nor does it constitute a statement of the conditions of a contract between the student and this institution. CFS®, CAS®, CES™, CTS™, CIS™, Certified Fund Specialist®, Certified Annuity Specialist®, Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™, Certified Tax Specialist™ and Certified Income Specialist™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Institute of Business & Finance. © 2011 Institute of Business & Finance. All rights reserved.


MUTUAL FUNDS — Certified Fund Specialist® (CFS®) ANNUITIES — Certified Annuity Specialist® (CAS®) RETIREMENT INCOME — Certified Income Specialist™ (CIS™) ESTATE PLANNING — Certified Estate and Trust Specialist™ (CES™) TAXES — Certified Tax Specialist™ (CTS™) DEGREE — Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS)

(800) 848-2029

IBF Course Catalog (2012)  
IBF Course Catalog (2012)  

Our catalog provides detailed information about designation programs, and master's degree.